At the beginning of February 2020, the Texas Legislative Black Caucus along with other black officials and advocates announced in Houston that they “are working on a bill for the 2021 legislative session called the CROWN Act.” CROWN stands for Create a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair. The bill would ‘prohibit hair discrimination affecting people of color in schools and workplaces,” says The Texas Tribune.
The bill is aimed at preventing incidents such as those involving DeAndre Arnold. According to the news source, Arnold, who is a black student at Barber Hills located in Mont Belvieu, was suspended from school in January because of his dreadlocks. He was told by school staff that if he didn’t cut them, he wouldn’t be able to walk at his high school graduation. Arnold’s school has a policy in effect that “prohibits male students’ hair from falling below their eyebrows or ears,” cites the news source.
After the incident involving Arnold caught the public’s attention, the student was brought onto the Ellen show and was given $20,000 to go toward continuing his education. He was “also invited to attend the Oscars as a guest of “Hair Love,” a nominated animated short film.” Unfortunately, Arnold isn’t the only person who has experienced discrimination for his hair. Another Texas high school student, Juelz Trice, “was forced to fill in his shaved hair design with a Sharpie to avoid suspension.” Another student, only four years old, was “given a choice between cutting his hair or wearing a dress and being addressed as a girl,” cites The Texas Tribune.
Have any other states adopted the CROWN Act?
While some states have already adopted bills similar to the CROWN act including California, New York, and New Jersey, Texas has not. However, after Texas Representative Rhetta Bowers was approached by the CROWN Coalition a year ago, she is now considering bringing the bill to Texas. Bowers said that “she and her fellow Black Caucus members are still in the process of educating people and creating awareness about the issue of hair discrimination.”
With a bill like the CROWN Act, people in Texas would be protected against “unjust grooming policies that have a disparate impact on black children, women, and men” in both schools and workplaces.
Who do you turn to when your employer has discriminated against you in Houston, Texas?
Discrimination, whether it occurs in a school or workplace setting, is illegal and a punishable act. If you are a victim of workplace discrimination and you live in Houston, you can always discuss your issue with a Houston, TX employment law attorney. The attorneys at Moore & Associates can only imagine what you must be going through and are available to help you understand what your legal rights are in the matter. To speak with a dedicated Houston, TX employment law lawyer now, contact 713-222-6775.